Ransomware has become one of the most common types of cyber-crime, devastating individuals, businesses, and government agencies. Law enforcement has largely failed to catch or deter the hackers, who are usually foreign. But we found that U.S. companies, exploiting regulatory loopholes and sometimes misleading victims, have secretly abetted the rise of ransomware for their own profit.
This podcast was produced with the MIT Technology Review.
Ransomware is proliferating across the country, disabling computer systems and harming critical infrastructure — hospitals, city governments, schools, even an oil pipeline. The technology that enables ransomware may be new, but extortion and ransom are not.
So why is this happening now? And can it be stopped?
In this five-part series from MIT Technology Review and ProPublica hosted by Meg Marco, a former ProPublica senior editor, we look at the money, people and technology behind the explosion of ransomware that is delivering hundreds of millions of dollars to cybercriminals around the world.